By Jon Miller | Post Date: December 16, 2008 7:08 AM | Comments: 3
Shortly after the Kyoto Protocol was ratified and Japan signed up to it, several ministries including transportation, lands, and economic development created a "national policy against environmental problems". One of the aims was to reduce CO2 emissions resulting from the operations of logistics companies. This company took up the challenge and re-examined everything from their layout to their IT system to their fleet, with impressive results which I cannot share due to a non-disclosure agreement. This company has made innovative use of low-cost technology to increase fuel efficiency of their vehicles, and they are pioneering the use of bio-diesel made of recycled cooking oil.
While big business has been busy lobbying the U.S. government successfully not to take part in the Kyoto Protocol, companies in countries like Japan are using legislation limiting carbon dioxide emissions to take kaizen to another level and to new frontiers. The argument has been that complying with the Kyoto Protocol would make the U.S. firms less competitive. It's amazing how some see opportunity and some see threats in the same situation. Japan has repeatedly come through crises by facing their problems through science, technology and policy. Their history is as full of blemishes as any other country, but they are leading once again on environmental technology, at least as applied within Japan's borders. The lesson of the Kyoto Protocol is that while U.S. firms prevaricated, others innovated.
What really motivates the people at this distribution center to focus on environmental kaizen? In the end I believe it was a combination of things. First, strong customer focus drove them to comply with requirements from not only Toyota but the policy of the state, as representative of will of the people. Second, these people genuinely worked within a culture that was intolerant of waste, with many decades of history of recycling products and resources, so energy kaizen was the natural next step. Third, it was a beautiful day. They sky was blue, the air was clean. The ocean breeze blew across the parking lot. The grass grew underfoot.Comments are moderated to filter spam and inappropriate content. There may be a delay before your comment is published.